It’s time to start producing some football content for NoontimeSports.com – we love football.
And while we know this fall will be different – we will miss covering the small colleges here in New England – it is time to kick-off our National Football League (NFL) coverage with our first (of many) Noontime Top 20 Polls.
Like we have in the past, specifically with our New England D-III Football Poll, we will be producing a weekly Noontime Sports NFL Top 20 Poll, pending of course there is a season and games are played. But as we know, nothing is certain, especially during a pandemic, so hopefully this post (and poll) provides you with some hope for the 2020 season.
Noontime’s Preseason Top 20 NFL Poll (Tuesday, August 4, 2020)
1. Kansas City Chiefs: The defending Super Bowl champions will certainly have a target on their back once they begin their title defense on Thursday, September 10 against the Houston Texans.
2. Baltimore Ravens: Quarterback Lamar Jackson seems extremely motivated to lead his team on a deep postseason run. Will that happen this year?
3. San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers were the best team in the NFC last year and should once again be a team to watch (and beat) in what should be a rather competitive NFC West.
4. New Orleans Saints: The Saints want to erase the memories of last year’s early postseason exit to the Minnesota Vikings. Expect another big year from quarterback Drew Brees, along with some new acquisitions, including Malcolm Jenkins and D.J. Swearinger.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Did you see today’s workout video on twitter between Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski? Brady looks in midseason form.
6. Seattle Seahawks: Never count out Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, but will they be able to continue their previous momentum from years past without fans in the stands this year?
7. Tennessee Titans: As long as the Titans stay healthy, this team will be tough to stop. Also, can quarterback Ryan Tannehill continue his success from a year ago? And will this team once again run through halfback Derrick Henry?
8. New England Patriots: Yes, the Patriots have lost a great deal of depth and experience with eight players electing to opt-out for the upcoming season, but it is hard to count out coach Bill Belichick and newly acquired signal-caller Cam Newton.
9. Buffalo Bills: The Bills will certainly challenge the New England Patriots for the top spot in the AFC East, especially with some impressive new pieces on both sides of the ball, including Josh Norman and Stefon Diggs. Hopefully, quarterback Josh Allen has improved his accuracy (fingers crossed!).
10. Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz played an entire season last fall for the Green and White, and should continue his progress – he is one of the best signal-callers in the game (in our opinion). In addition to Wentz taking another step forward, every member of the organization must stay healthy, too.
11. Green Bay Packers: So, what is the future hold for quarterback Aaron Rodgers? Who knows, but as long as he is under center, then we should not count out Go Pack Go.
12. Dallas Cowboys: A new sheriff is in town – his name is Mike McCarthy – and his resume includes a Super Bowl championship with the Green Bay Packers. We are excited to see the new schemes McCarthy implements, as well as some touchdown passes from Dak Prescott to CeeDee Lamb.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger wants to do everything he can to lead the Steelers to victory, but does he have enough left in the tank?
14. Indianapolis Colts: Can Philip Rivers make the Colts a team to beat not just in the AFC South, but the entire conference? Also, similar to Ben Roethlisberger, how much is left in the tank?
15. Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings were like the Dallas Cowboys last season, but made the playoffs. This team has the potential to win big games, but can they put it all together for an entire season, as well as 60 minutes?
16. Houston Texans: Every year, it seems like this team has the potential to do great things, but never does. For starters, the offensive line needs to do a better job protecting Deshaun Watson, while the defense needs to improve.
17. Cleveland Browns: A new era begins in Cleveland – how many times have you heard this saying before? – but will first-year coach Kevin Stefanski really get this team trending in the right direction?
18. Los Angeles Rams: It is hard to count out the Rams, especially with so much talent on both sides of the ball, but they took a step backward last season. The Blue and Yellow may be playing in a new stadium this fall – they will also be wearing some new uniforms, too – but they bid farewell to some key pieces on both sides of the ball, as well as defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
19. Atlanta Falcons: After a bad start to its 2019 campaign, the Falcons regrouped and won six of eight contests, including an end of season win against the Buccaneers in overtime. Expect that end of season momentum to translate to future success in 2020.
20. Arizona Cardinals: Yes, the Cardinals of Arizona are on our list. And the reason: wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
On The Rise: Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, and Miami Dolphins